What we achieved in Iraq was to turn the Sunni populace by paying them "protection money" to stop shooting at our soldiers and shoot the people we directed them to. Tens of millions of taxpayer dollars.
General Stanley McChrystal is out. But the disastrous counterinsurgency campaign he put in place is still grinding away in Afghanistan. That's got to change.
Clearly, McChrystal didn't heed the advice given in Shakespeare's classic play about mishaps in war, Troilus and Cressida -- "Lay thy finger on thy lips!"
McChrystal is more honest in his assessments than either Obama or Petraeus. The President is accustomed to throw the mantle of success over failure through glib talk and spin.
I called for McChrystal to go in October, 2009. I called for him to go yesterday. And now, he's gone. But this isn't about McChrystal's job. It's about McChrystal's plan -- the plan for endless war. The question is whether America is turning away from war. And we are. Slowly.
What's worse: backstabbing a president or bombing lots of civilians? The answers pretty obvious to judge by the stink over General Stanley McChrystal.
One of the more striking aspects of the current episode is that no one is vigorously disputing the essence of the assessments advanced by McChrystal and his associates.
While Washington soaks up the outcome of this showdown, the more important story is that even McChrystal, the Afghanistan war's point man and chief proponent, has been harboring doubts about the feasibility of the mission.
A song for today's McChrystal/Obama meeting.
McChrystal may have reached a "success" plateau he couldn't exceed. Maybe deep down he realized that he simply couldn't win the war, so he wanted out.
Expectations for decisive action by this President have steadily eroded. With today's news, Mr. Obama has stopped that slide among many -- and all thanks to a freebie.
What would be nice would be reports of progress with Afghanistan. Perhaps the President needs to continue to send out the clowns. This is not a comedy. It's a tragedy.
The president was wise to act swiftly to replace his theater commander; he should act no less decisively in reviewing the policy. The focus should be on scaling back U.S. military presence in Central Asia.
In the end, the tabloid drama between the White House and McChrystal should give way to some sober assessments about whether this mission is winnable, and whether it is even worth winning.
How deep and widespread is the infection of insubordination demonstrated by General McChrystal? Does it extend to the rest of the high command?
Thank you, Mr. President. And you too, Mr. Bite-me.